Agua de Jamaica is a refreshing sweetened hibiscus tea popular in Mexico and other parts of Central America. It is also referred to as one of the “aguas frescas” (fresh waters). It is an infusion of hibiscus flowers, sweetened with raw sugar and served chilled over ice.
What is Agua de Jamaica made from?
Agua de Jamaica is typically made from magenta-colored calyces of the Roselle (commonly known as hibiscus flowers), water, and raw sugar.
The flowers are usually sold in any Latin American store or online (this is an affiliate link and I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you).
What are the benefits of drinking Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants and a 2010 study found that consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure.
Other benefits typically referred to are that it lowers body temperature, helps with heart disease and sore throats and inflammatory problems. (However, I couldn’t confirm any of the latter finding scientific studies).
Does Hibiscus Tea Help Lose Weight?
Some people suggest it helps with weight management as it speeds up your metabolism due to its laxative properties.
I personally find this is pretty far fetched. However, I guess if your go-to drink is soda pop and you replace it with unsweetened or lightly sweetened Agua de Jamaica this can most definitely be true.
In my opinion, the only thing that will most definitely help with weight-loss is an overall nutrient-dense clean diet avoiding (or strongly limiting) overly processed foods and drinks.
How to make Agua de Jamaica
It is as easy as making any other herbal tea. Bring water to the boil, add the flowers and raw sugar and let boil for a minute or two.
Then strain out the flowers, add some extra cold water and serve over ice. That’s it!
Is Sugar Necessary in Agua de Jamaica?
Absolutely not! If you love tart-flavored drinks like unsweetened cranberry juice, for example, you will absolutely enjoy Agua de Jamaica unsweetened, too.
For me, the flavor is a little too tart so I like to sweeten the tea with as natural sweeteners as possible.
My favorite sweeteners for hibiscus tea are honey, raw sugar, or agave nectar.
Agua de Jamaica
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 4 cups water - 1 liter
- 1/4-1/3 cup turbinado sugar - (or less quantity of honey or agave nectar)
- ice cubes
- 4 cups cold water - 1 liter
- If you remember the night before, make some special flower ice cubes by placing one hibiscus flower into each compartment of your ice cube tray, fill with water and let freeze overnight.
- Bring water to the boil and once boiling add hibiscus flowers and turbinado sugar. Stir well to make sure the flowers get all wet and don't just sit on top of the water and the sugar dissolves. Boil for a minute or two, then add the lid and remove from the stove.
- Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea), then strain the flours.
- Pour into a pitcher filled with 4 cups of cold water and plenty of ice cubes.
- Serve over more ice and enjoy!